Visually Simplify

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Inspired by the lovely Laura’s recent post at I’m an Organizing Junkie, What Does Simplify Mean to You? http://orgjunkie.com/2011/08/52-weeks-31-what-does-simplify-mean-to-you-giveaway.html, I decided to dedicate a post to organizing tips for the visual learner.  Thank you for the inspiration Laura!

I love to organize and LOVE the Container Store with a passion! I have also been known to count pennies to relax, but I have not always been so together. I started becoming an organizational “freak” in High School as a way to cope with ADD. It took a while to figure out how exactly my brain works but I can now set up systems to keep me on track, most of the time. I am a very visual person which can be a double edged sword. Clutter drives me crazy, but out of site is practically out of mind for me. Luckily this world is full of beautiful and functional things.

Below are a few tips I assembled to help simplify your routines and your life

    • Make sure to have a space or system that is beautiful enough to make you smile while still functioning. If everything is all about function it will probably drive the visual person nuts. It’s all about finding the balance.
    • Recognize the most used areas and find a way to make those spaces work as your “command or action centers”.  ie: where you set you purse/wallet down, by the coffee pot or front door.
    • Figure out your weaknesses and focus on solutions for those first. Paying bills on time, piles of paper, forgetting items your need for the day? A pretty, “staged” bookcase is nice but spend your time on something that will make your life easier first. Less time tracking down coupons can save you time and money so down the line you can make that bookcase shine with less stress.
    • Figure out what makes you feel the most alive and find a system to inspire you. That can mean organizing the kitchen cabinets so you can get to your favorite sauce pan and get creative with your favorite edible masterpieces. Maybe that means sorting your paints or pastels and keeping a space clear to express yourself.
    • Find free or cheap solutions to test run a system before spending a bunch of money. It is a horrible feeling to get excited about a new organizer only to find out your solution creates unseen problems.

Above is the area that has become my “command center”. Here I set my purse, mail and my boyfriend sets his HUGE bag. There is only so much room for our stuff so I wanted to move my mail center off the bookcase and on the wall. I found the below inspiration picture on Pinterest and figured I could sew something similar to the fabric pockets.

Before I went through the process of picking fabrics and measuring I went the quick and easy route to try the system out. I gathered two different sizes of envelopes, cut off the flaps, glued them together and stuck them on the wall with 3m strips. I only had a few of the 3m strips so I used a little masking tape as well.


It may take a little more time to settle on the categories but so far I really like it.

I have now come up with a new system that streamlines my needs for a mail center which I tested on the cheap, will look fabulous once I pick fun fabric, and I can still SEE the bills I need to pay. One more gold star for ADD girl! (wink)

What projects have you done lately to simplify and bring order to your home? Do you have any tips for the blogosphhere?

 

*I joined Organizing Junkies link party here: http://orgjunkie.com/2011/08/52-weeks-33-using-weekly-planner-pages-for-organizing.html

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About thedistractedblogger

I am a curious person and am interested in most things therefore I have way to many hobbies. This blog will most likely reflect my love of crafts and home organization. There may be some dance, fashion, and geekyness thrown in there somewhere as well. The Distracted Blogger will likely live up to her name and may not post regularly. Let's face it, this ADD kid's focus shifts like the changing winds.

14 responses »

  1. I love this! I am such a paper girl and it gets lost in translation all. the. time. I bet if you bought a cheap corkboard and covered it in some fabric you could just tack those envelopes right on it and no sewing would be required. Since it’s back to school time you could get one cheap!

    Also, I love that you’ve adapted to ADD. Any time I tutor a child with ADD/ADHD I always tell them (and their parents!) that it’s just a matter of finding the right system to work *with* the ADD. It’s only a disability if you let it be one! You are inspiring. 🙂

  2. Love the suggestion! If I can a corkboard in the right size I will certainly do that.

    Thank you! ADD really is just different wiring therefore a different way of thinking. Drugs never worked for me, actually they made things worse. Hard to function when you are asleep! I’m glad you take the time to work with the child AND the parents when you tutor! We need more informed teachers out there and less “diagnosing” kids under the age of seven or eight. Kids will be kids.

  3. Nice job! I want to create a ‘command center’ on the door inside my pantry. The counter when you first walk in is where we dump the mail and everything. I’m tired of the counter always being cluttered. My thought was to try and find a mail center but I like the cork board/envelope idea. We’ll see how it turns out!

    • Thank you. A simple envelope or pocket system would be great for a pantry since it wouldn’t get in the way of closing like your typical hanging inbox could. Let me know how your ‘command center’ works out. Good luck!

  4. paper clutter drives me nuts too! i have a couple of junk drawers in my kitchen filled with misc. stuff that i really need to go through. i like your idea for organizing your mail. great idea to test it out, then you can have fun dressing up your command center with fabric. enjoy your weekend.

  5. I like your 3rd tip to focus on finding solutions for your weakness which will ultimately give your more time to do other things. I have found that to be so true! Also, great idea to start with the cheapo version to see if it works for you.

  6. Pingback: 3 Awesome Reader Projects | The Borrowed Abode

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